The articles I’ve chosen to compare are from The Daily Wire and The New York Times, both of which cover the nomination of Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House. The Daily Wire covers the topic in a overtly negative manner while the New York Times seems to cover it with less bias.
In the Daily wire piece written by Emily Zanotti the description of events was accurate but also filled with subtle and not so subtle jabs at the democratic party and Nancy Pelosi. In the piece not only did it seem like the Nancy Pelosi was being personally criticized but the Democratic Party seemed to be mocked. The issue discussed was not put in a polarized or conflict frame as much as parliamentary tactics were discussed. Zanotti mocks the tactics she thinks are used by the Democratic party and Pelosi to hold and flaunt her position of power. Zanotti saw Pelosi’s actions to winning the election as a sort of peacocking, “She ran an uncontested race but took a victory lap anyway”. Zanotti further pointed out the how the Democratic party tried create a false image of Pelosi by calling for a paper vote rather than a voice vote “ostensibly sparing Pelosi the embarrassment of a non-unanimous vote”. Her coverage of Adam Schiff’s reaction perfectly showed her bias that she was clearly not trying to hide, “There was at least one man who was moved by Pelosi’s re-election, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)… “weeping as he made his declaration… Embarrassing”.
The coverage of this event shifted to a significantly more bipartisan and less biased lens under The New York Times piece written by Julie Hirschfeld Davis. Davis acknowledged that Pelosi won in an easy manner but pointed out how 32 democrats “defected”, as did Zanotti, from her signaling possible difficulty in the future. The piece also talked about the perceived strong arming tactics Pelosi uses to stay in power, however the author hid her own reaction to this better than Zannotti does. Davis states how Pelosi and a leadership team that have stayed in power for ten years is “a remarkable reality for a party whose new face is one of generational, racial and cultural transformation”. She paints this more as surprising and interesting but not in a negative manner such as the daily wire piece. This piece also goes into more details about the democratic parties internal positions and who won which seat than The Daily Wire. Seemingly more interested in the entire parties workings rather than just attempting to paint Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in a negative light.
The Daily Wire piece is more determined to in Zannotti’s mind to expose a party and actions of some members in order to lessen the credibility of the Democratic Party. On the other end the New York Times piece attempts to lay out what happened and what it means in an impartial manner. The bias was clear in Zannotti’s piece but she did not try and hide it clearly trying to target a particular audience rather than a neutral one. The New York Times author Davis hid her personal piece well by comparison. However, both pieces came from a disorder bias, covering that specific piece of news from a viewpoint of government disorder. Both pieces picked up on dissenters from Pelosi’s vote of which she tried to gloss over and declare an overwhelming success. Both pieces in turn highlighted a possible division in the party that has had the same leadership for a while now, albeit in different forms.
Another aspect that was different but not drastically was the impoliteness present in Zannotti’s article compared to Davis’s. Impoliteness, or the disregard for social norms as defined in Twitter versus Facebook: Comparing incivility, impoliteness, and deliberative attributes. Zannotti clearly took a shot at Adam Schiff when she called his actions “embarrassing”. Now it is only one example that stands out but throwing it in shows the underlying personal bias that was not as present in the piece by Davis. Overall both pieces do a good job of telling what happened, however Zannotti lets her personal bias shine when describing the parliamentary tactics used by Pelosi while Davis makes more of an attempt to hide hers. In the end the same story paints somewhat different pictures with one being that Pelosi is a strong arming bully that isn’t as secure in her position as she wants others to believe. The other being a cautionary warning that a perennial political leader might have some new opposition.
Media bias takes shape in all forms of media, not just the main political news outlets. These organizations or news outlets can take the form of companies with agendas that may or may not influence their ideas. One of these organizations is PETA and it published an article about how drinking milk is supporting white supremacists.
Media bias can be influenced by ownership and their own agendas which might seem to be the case here with PETA. For instance if PETA wants more people to switch to nut based milk to protect animals they might be more inclined to find and report information they think helps achieve this. However this could lead to a stretching of information to make their own points. Peta creates a sort of false dilemma here by claiming that by drinking milk you are supporting or at least tolerating white supremacy. “PETA is trying to wake people up to the implications of choosing this white beverage and suggesting that they choose something else pronto”. They’re trying to make an everyday item and grocery, milk, a black and white moral issue so they can garner support for their cause. By stating “With so many different types of cruelty-free, delicious milks on the market, opposing supremacists has never been easier” they create a false dilemma because it is indeed possible to drink milk and not support or tolerate supremacy.
The agenda of PETA ownership has dictated what their employees write about here. They have taken the actions of a few who society finds despicable, white supremacists, and used it to associate racial issues with milk. “white nationalists—who are now using milk emojis and sharing photos of themselves chugging milk to celebrate their “whiteness””. The author, Zachary Toliver, argues this because it is an easy way to gather support for his side. He does not mention any of the benefits of cow milk in the article or how much more expensive nut based milk is because it does not support his organization’s agenda.
Now of course one would expect an organization such as PETA to be somewhat biased in their support for their cause but not to this extent. Normally a charity that with a goal would support that ideology with facts and reasonable ideas, not radicalized notions. The article does not even get real quotes from supremacists and relies on making up the opposing argument in their own words. The story also throws out misinformation to try and send home their point stating “Consuming dairy products is also linked to developing heart disease as well as prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer”. This is contrary to the Harvard School of Public health who states “various foods including full-fat dairy milk, yogurt, butter, cheeses, and cream were not found to increase heart disease risk”. This misinformation is just an example of the major news networks of today who allow agenda setting and ideology to control their output. If the article would have simply brought up quotes from the white supremacists, acknowledged pros and cons of both sides, or even just made sure their own background information was sound the article could have been more credible.
Bias in the media has become as common as a cold in today’s media. I know it is a bad mindset to have but I know tend to look for the bias in the news I consume instead of just focusing on the content itself. The video that I found seems to me to show substantial agenda setting and personalization.
The video that I watched is from MSNBC and it was Lawrence O’Donnell talking about the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting. In the video he stated what happened at first and proceeded to delve further into his own opinion the longer the video went. He proceeded to connect the shooting with politics and put the blame on Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Republican party. “The invasion of a mass murderer to a synagogue on saturday was a reaction to the lies that Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Republicans about what they have been calling the invasion”. This was a quote from Lawrence during his show in which he turned a horrific event into a political tool. Instead of promoting mental health or substantive policies that could enact change he attempts to use the event as a political tool for his agenda setting. He blames the republican party and Donald Trump for creating an environment where the shooter felt the need to murder when he is not qualified to analyze the psyche of a mass murderer and make claims like that.
He also goes on to play a video of Trump who suggested that there might not have been murders had there been an armed guard. However, Lawrence goes on to insinuate that Trump implied it is the Rabbi’s fault for the shooting, “So it must be the Rabbi’s fault that there was no armed guard”, even though Trump never suggested that. He attempts to turn this saddening event into a personal indictment of president Trump and degrade the republican party. No matter what party you align with or policies you agree with it is not the job of unbiased media to promote personal ideas and agendas during moments of crisis. Lawrence even went as far is to ask who will be the next person “who goes in and murders everyone in sight because he believes a lie told by the president of the United States”.
The video went so far off topic that Lawrence even talked about George Soros and how he got a pipe bomb in the mail because he was jewish and supported democratic candidates. “Some of us remember a country when you could do that and not expect a pipe bomb in the mail” and “They’re not randomly picking George Soros to take the blame for all the evils of the world, George Soros is Jewish”. In a video that claims the host is going to honor and remember the victims of the shooting it spends an awful lot of time discussing a political agenda. The attention that was drawn to this event was hijacked by a man into a negative personalization of Republican party and Donald Trump. An agenda setting of sorts that could have been either personal or from ownership bias.
This November is setting up to be a very contentious time for politics in America and the news articles from mainstream media perfectly represent the polarization. For my Article comparison I searched “Brett Kavanaugh hearing” and was overwhelmed with the angry rhetoric that was involved in the title of the articles themselves. So I proceeded to compare the two article headlines that were most different and low and behold they were written by Fox and CNN. The title’s read “Kavanaugh sounded like he was unjustly accused at hearing, Flake says” and “Klobuchar: I was really Stunned at Kavanaugh’s behavior at hearing”, I’m sure you can deduce which news network published which article. Without even knowing anything about the networks themselves you could forsee how each article was gonna sound and lean by the title’s alone. For instance the Fow news article quoted a republican senator, Jeff Flake, while the CNN article quoted a democratic senator, Amy Klobuchar.
A clear example of fragmentation bias is shown in these two articles’ titles. Both take parts of a quote from a larger response and use it to portray what they want and not necessarily what the senators themselves intended. Interestingly enough though both articles did a reasonably good job of stating the whole quotes and ideas in the articles themselves, just their focuses were clearly on their personal agendas. Both articles focused on Kavanaugh’s emotion in his responses during the hearing yet there were two different interpretations.
Fox seemed to focus on the positive side of the emotion with Senator Flake stating “When I heard him, I heard someone who I hope I would sound like, if I had been unjustly accused” after hearing Kavanaugh’s account of how this hearing was a “national disgrace” and that it had “destroyed his family and good name”. However Fox did include Senator Flake’s quote that some of Kavanaugh’s response to democratic committee members “were a little too sharp”. These selected quotes make it seem that Kavanaugh is a man reacting as any normal man accused of something he did not do would react, a common republican sentiment.
This differs from CNN’s portrayal of the hearing as they painted it more of Kavanaugh’s emotional outburst make it worth questioning if he is fit for the position.“I was really stunned by how he acted at that hearing. This is basically a job interview for the highest court of the land”. CNN went way more in depth with the comments Kavanaugh made to the democratic committee members than did Fox. CNN’s main focus was on Klobuchar’s view of the conversation between Kavanaugh and Klobuchar while Fox focused on Flake’s view and explanation of the conversation. Fox also was more wide ranging in their article and not quite as in depth as they touched on the FBI investigation too.
The articles covered the same hearing but their respective framing of what happened were quite different. Both using fragmented quotes as their main tool except the tool was used for two different outcomes. Fox proceeded to paint Kavanaugh’s actions in the hearing as relatable by trying to use quotes that incited empathy for Kavanaugh while CNN used quotes that made Kavanaugh seem unprofessional. Political calculus was also used in the article’s as evident by the senator’s each network chose to quote in their titles and the quotes they chose.
No matter which way you lean both these articles frame Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination in the conflict frame. This framing can put off reader’s from trying to decide for themselves what actually happened or what they actually believe or it can polarize them. If someone just read one of the articles they would have a completely different view of the hearing than someone who read both. The fragmentation of clearly biased political sources’ quotes was the biggest issue that led to discrepancies between the two articles.
The past week I recorded where I received my news from and the results were somewhat expected for a college student. I received the bulk of my initial media news from snapchat and the news app on my phone. The main news company that I read was the New York Times on the news app but I could only read so much of it because I would not pay to subscribe. I would typically then search whatever news update I got from snapchat as news on that platform is very brief and does not go into much depth on the topic. The main news company that I would use to research the articles I saw on snapchat or from my news app was The Hill. I found The Hill to be the least biased of the main online news sources I found just by the title alone. The majority of online news headlines would clearly indicate some sort of partisan bias just off the title alone except for The Hill. I also watched some news videos from Fox news as that is the prefered network of my parents. They, specifically my father, suggested some videos for me to see in regards to the Kavanaugh hearing. Finally, I watched a Louder with Crowder podcast by Steven Crowder.
The news sources I used are pretty common I feel like for people of my age. The snapchat news covers my typical social media news source, however I try to refrain from forming opinions based on that source as the coverage is not too in depth and is prone to initial emotional reactions. Also both the news app and Snapchat are convenient and quick sources of information because I use those two apps the most often on my phone. Using The Hill as my main online source of information was a result of me just simply looking for the first seemingly unbiased news headline as the majority tended to indicate which way they lean or what lense they would be putting on the information. The Hill also uses significantly less political calculus than other online news sources in their actual articles. As for the Fox news videos I viewed they were sent to me by my parents because they thought it would be helpful considering my political science major. The Steven Crowder podcast is my only news source that I listen to because of personal preference. The other sources are mostly out of convenience except for the Louder With Crowder podcast. I watch this one more for entertainment as I agree the majority of time with his views and he is a different voice compared to most other news podcasts or stations. Also he is based off the internet so I know he says what he really thinks every time as he has no employer to answer to.
The effect of the sources I use are apparent to me as I know I typically gravitate towards convient news coverage. However, these tend to be emotional responses and less in depth than more traditional news sources. .This usually leads me to understanding that there is an issue in a particular area but unsure of what really happened. I also know that my parents tend to lean more conservative and this dictates their personal news sources and in turn their influence on me such as suggesting fox news videos. My last news source, Steven Crowder podcasts, is probably the biggest influence on me. I like the points he comes up with and his personal backstory which gives me a certain level of trust in his overall views. Although I recognize if I allow his breaking down of political problems that I have little knowledge on to influence me then I become susceptible to being misinformed. This also could lead to me having emotional responses to viewpoints that counter mine if I am unable to handle arguments due to my lack of personal knowledge. If I resort to emotional responses then I would be entrenching myself in my views which would alienate myself from learning the truth. If I go around with uneducated and emotional arguments then I would be contributing to the already contentious political environment instead of helping fix it.